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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'All women are guides': Sufi leadership and womanhood among 'Taalibe Baay' in Senegal
Author:Hill, Joseph
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa (ISSN 0022-4200)
Geographic term:Senegal
Muslim brotherhoods
gender roles
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006610X540735
Abstract:In Sufi Islamic groups in West Africa, the position of 'muqaddam', one appointed as a spiritual guide, is usually held by men. Although Senegalese Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse (1900-1975) appointed many Senegalese women as 'muqaddams' throughout his life, few of his disciples were aware of these appointments. Since the 1990s a growing number of 'Taalibe Baay' (disciples of Niasse) women have more openly led active communities of disciples. Several factors have made it possible for these women to act uncontroversially as recognized leaders, including Baye Niasse's popularization of mystical knowledge and authority, making them available to the general body of disciples; the urbanization of the Taalibe Baay movement; and global and local processes raising Muslim women's visibility as objects of discourse and as active religious and economic actors. While these women sometimes draw on global discourses of gender equality, to a much larger extent they base their religious authority on embodying and performing the interiority and submissiveness conventionally associated with pious women. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]